U.S. Cellular slashes prices on its shared data plans, undercutting Verizon and AT&T

U.S. Cellular (NYSE:USM) cut the prices of its shared data plans and eliminated some buckets to simplify options for customers. The carrier said it hopes to entice customers following recent price changes of its two largest competitors, Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T Mobility (NYSE: T) .

U.S. Cellular spokeswoman Katie Frey confirmed the price changes to the carrier's "Shared Connect" shared data plans, which all come with unlimited voice and texting:

  • The 1 GB plan is now $25 per month, down from $30 per month before
  • The 3 GB plan is now $40, down from $50 
  • The 6 GB plan is now $55, down from $60 
  • The 10 GB plan is now $70, down from $100
  • The 12 GB plans is now $80, down from $110
  • The 15 GB plan is $90 and is a new plan
  • And the 20 GB plans is now $110, down from $140

U.S. Cellular decided to eliminate its 8, 14 and 16 GB plans. Current customers are free to switch to these new plans.

"Whether you use one 1 GB or 20 GB, with U.S. Cellular, your data plan will cost less than Verizon or AT&T," Joe Settimi, vice president of marketing for U.S. Cellular, said in a statement. "Our customers experience a high-quality network that they can use coast to coast along with unbeatable value on a variety of flexible plans to meet their needs."

If U.S. Cellular customers are adding smartphone lines through equipment installment plans, on plans with up to 6 GB of data the phones cost $20 per month and plans with 10 GB or more the connection charge is $15 per month. Smartphones cost $40 per month with two-year contracts, so customers are clearly being incentivized to adopt EIP. Customers can upgrade their device under U.S. Cellular's EIP plan in as little as 12 months if they trade it in for the latest model.

AT&T shook up its "Mobile Share Value" shared data plans in August, and is now offering 2 GB for $30, 5 GB for $50, 15 GB for $100 and 20 GB for $140. On the 15 GB and 20 GB plans, U.S. Cellular's data costs are now cheaper.

Verizon's 1 GB plan is now $30 per month, its 3 GB plan is $45, its 6 GB plan is $60 and its $12 GB plan is $80. On that score, U.S. Cellular's 1, 3 and 6 GB plans are $5 cheaper than Verizon's and their 12 GB plans cost the same.  

For more:
- see this release

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